PUBLIC COMMENT: Why defund the sheriff with crime on the rise?

Patrick Shandrick, a former Human Services Commissioner, spoke during Tuesday’s City Council meeting to address the Public Safety Commission’s recent recommendation to reduce the number of budgeted Sheriff’s deputies. Shandrick has lived in West Hollywood for over 20 years with his husband and dog Tia, and is an active member in the West Hollywood West Residents Association (WHWRA). His comments are re-printed below.

Good evening Mayor Meister & City Council. Patrick Shandrick, longtime resident of West Hollywood.

I am speaking about concerns over safety and security in the community and recent actions taken by the City of West Hollywood’s Public Safety commission.

Residents feel unsafe. We see crime increasing in and around West Hollywood; deadly stabbings, robberies by gunpoint, people being hit and harassed on our streets, car break-ins, and mail theft. I say “in and around” West Hollywood because to the average citizen it doesn’t matter if a gun is pulled on someone on the Los Angeles side of La Cienega or the West Hollywood side, it’s in our community.

I attended a recent West Hollywood West Residents Association meeting where West Hollywood Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Moulder and the city’s Public Safety Director Kristen Cook listened to residents’ concerns and experiences around this increase in crime. Lt. Moulder said that as we come out of the pandemic, the crime rate is going up. Director Cook said we actually have less deputies today than when she joined the city over 20 years ago–67 sworn officers that were directly paid for then have been reduced to about 60.

This brings me to the last weeks Public Safety commission meeting and their recent vote to “Decrease the Police” even further–by nearly 20%–without even providing an alternative or gathering community input. A decrease in security, while our current and projected population continues to grow and our hotel and office space increases. I anticipate this will not have any influence on your decision tonight to approve the mid-year budget.

Lastly, I have to say I am very concerned about the accusations Councilmember Lindsey Horvath’s Public Safety commissioner, Nika Soon-Shiong, lobbed against the Los Angeles County Sheriffs in overcharging the city for law enforcement services they provide to our city. Sheriff Villanueva responded to the city with documentation disputing such allegations. The West Hollywood City Manager needs to address these accusations immediately and seriously to restore public trust. The council and commission should find better ways to collaborate with the WeHo Sheriffs instead of creating a toxic relationship. Commissioner Soon-Shiong should temporarily step down until this is all cleared up. Something just doesn’t smell right here.

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Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris
2 months ago

Patrick, thank you for your public comments. You speak for many of us. The commissioner was completely off base and the Sheriff swiftly refuted her nonsense claims. Horvath and all of her ilk need to go. They do not represent West Hollywood.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
3 months ago

From my review of the Public Safety Commission meeting it seemed like the decision to cut ten deputies was tied to the funding of a Homeless Mental Crisis Outreach Response team. While the Response team is an excellent idea with real potential, it should not come via a major cut in law enforcement in these times. Rather than cut deputies we should either dip into reserves and make other adjustments in our budget to both fund a Homeless Outreach response team and increase law enforcement presence. We don’t live in Mayberry and if we develop a reputation of not being… Read more »

close to home
close to home
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

This is shocking to hear. Recommending that the city gut the police force to fund a homeless mental crisis center is an assault on the residents of West Hollywood. These commission members act like power hungry schoolchildren–there’s no reason to take them seriously. Their recommendations are as dangerous as they are ridiculous.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
3 months ago
Reply to  close to home

I think it’s a reasonable solution considering how residents have expressed so much concern about the homeless population. The Police can’t really do much besides throw a homeless person in jail for a night or two. They are back on the street ASAP.

Geoffrey Buck
Geoffrey Buck
3 months ago

Can’t believe I am writing this but I hope John Duran runs again. There are not many cities as fortunate as West Hollywood with our location and economic base. The city council wants to harm not only the citizens here with less police protection but has raised the sales tax to perhaps the highest in the US, giving out free $1000 a month to who knows who and now defunding the police. Time for a change

Randy
Randy
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Buck

The Council so, did not, raise sales tax. The voters in West Hollywood did! By an overwhelming margin.

vote them out
vote them out
3 months ago
Reply to  Randy

The people voted for the sales tax increase because we were tricked into thinking the money was needed–we didn’t realize it was going to be squandered on pet projects of your friends Horvath, Erickson, and Shyne.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
3 months ago
Reply to  vote them out

No one was tricked into anything.

GayWaspLivesMatter
GayWaspLivesMatter
2 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Are you Roberta Oliver?

Randy
Randy
2 months ago
Reply to  vote them out

You know *nothing* about me. By biggest “friends” on the Council are Meister and D’Amico. But leave it to you, to blame it all on “SHE,” and make assumptions that it is based on their “pet projects.” Guess what? Shyne and Erickson weren’t even on the Council yet. If you felt “tricked,” then so be it. I’d like to know what “pet projects” were involved, from two candidates, who we weren’t even sure were going to be elected? As if.

The Devil you Know
The Devil you Know
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Buck

Better the devil you know rather than the devil you don’t know.

carleton cronin
carleton cronin
3 months ago

The idea to defund the police is absolutely counterproductive. Perhaps we need a real shirtsleeves conversation with LASD to. devise a flexible plan which might involve more resident ride-alongs – on a regular basis – more foot patrols in designated areas with residents and deputies. Train more residents as civilian aides. Visibility of deputies and greater involvement by residents could help turn the tide. A WATCH program such as the city once sponsored to elevate awareness and involve residents. (PS -don’t make the WATCH program too complicated.) Of course, I’m a geezer, but some things don’t change when dealing with… Read more »

Michael G Labarbera
Michael G Labarbera
3 months ago

Is there a way that the citizens of West Hollywood can demand recalls of some council members?

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
3 months ago

I’ll sort of repeat my answer from a different article. The one and only way to get rid of the horrible people on the city council, which I consider to be all of them, is to evict all the freeloading destitute people on the Eastside of town, who vote. Then replace them with fair-market paying renters and residents, who will also vote. Outside of that, expect to see the same cancers to continue to be reelected decade after decade. No one else has the courage to say it, but the city needs a lot less poor people with their hands… Read more »

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
3 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Clearly, you don’t have the courage to say it either, otherwise you’d attach your name to your sentiments.

Jimmy palmieri
Jimmy palmieri
3 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Totally agree. People are very brave to spew word vomit, when hiding behind a fake name.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
3 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy palmieri

I love how uninformed people seem to just throw out insults, or use the tired “show your name”, rather than actually comment on what the post was about. The post was about how to do a recall of corrupt politicians. Would love to hear your thoughts about that, even if you disagree with me, but you are clearly of the same ilk as the city council so many have tired of, who prefer just to hurl out some vacant insult about spewing vomit. Was that some attempt at comedy, or have all your remaining brain cells given up? I’m so… Read more »

SOS Weho
SOS Weho
3 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

He probably doesn’t want to give his name because one of the city council people may put a hit out on him considering how dreadful and corrupt they are.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
3 months ago
Reply to  SOS Weho

Michael, are you seriously insinuating that council members hire hitmen to kill people?

This is vile.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
3 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

I’m so glad I’m not you. I understand I lack your bravery and courage, despite your offering no response other than just hurling out vacant insults. Oh, how brave you are.

Poor in Heart
Poor in Heart
3 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Apparently 20 % of folks living on the East side were as a result of former Russian atrocities. We are now witnessing events in Ukraine quite likely to produce additional immigrants . Please inform yourself of the history as it is right in front of us.

Randy
Randy
3 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Wow. Do you have any idea what one of the principal ideas this city was founded on? Rent control. I’m not living under rent control, and I own, and I still think we need it. People of lower income should be able to afford to live in this city. Perhaps you should move to Beverly Hills. You can change your name to “BevHillsQueen.”

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
3 months ago
Reply to  Randy

Since you think people of lower income should just magically be able to live in any city they wish, are you wishing your taxes were even higher to accommodate more of those super-desirable poor people? If 20,000,000 people just magically decided they want to live in West Hollywood, at what random point do we cut them off? And who gets to decide who is worthy and who isn’t worthy? I would love to move to Beverly Hills, but I can’t afford it, and they don’t have a program to help middle income people move there, only programs to help destitute… Read more »

Randy
Randy
2 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

OK. You are making so many assumptions and conclusions, based on a lack of understanding. I’ve lived here since 1999. Rent control only applies to people, as they move in. So, if you moved here in 1999, you retain a cost-of-living increase, based on your move-in date and that rent, as long as you stay in the same unit. That’s it. Plus some great services provided by the city to make sure your unit is safe, clean, and well-maintained. And that you are not harassed by your landlord, and strong-armed to leave. Once again, I don’t live under rent control,… Read more »

Richard K.
Richard K.
3 months ago

Our property was burglarized on Christmas Eve on Norwich Drive. The sheriff’s response was swift and thorough including a helicopter. We were appreciative of their efforts and know residents would not be as safe if we cut back on officers. Just the opposite, we need more.

Jose
Jose
3 months ago

These two…MUST be removed from having ANY voice in this city!!!
Councilmember Lindsey Horvath’s Public Safety commissioner, Nika Soon-Shiong

JF1
JF1
3 months ago
Reply to  Jose

Yup

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
3 months ago
Reply to  Jose

yup

WehoFan
WehoFan
3 months ago

It’s time for the city council – except Meister – to resign.

SOS Weho
SOS Weho
3 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

The new WeHo Cabal is D’SHE: D’mico, Shyne, Horvath and Erickson. They’re out to ruin West Hollywood. Time to file a Breach of Public Trust lawsuit. These third rate political hacks need to be voted out of office or recalled. It’s time to make their self-centered Woke lives miserable. They can’t stand not to be popular…Just look at the pathetic streetwalker for developers Lindsay Horvath.

Last edited 3 months ago by SOS Weho
Randy
Randy
3 months ago
Reply to  SOS Weho

Please, whoever you are, file that suit. I’ll get out my bucket of popcorn. Do you have the energy and courage to do it? Or only to complain about them online?

WehoFan
WehoFan
3 months ago
Reply to  Randy

Why are you so defensive about this corrupt city council?

Randy
Randy
2 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

I am defensive, because you seem to blame each and every thing that you don’t like that happens in this city on them. They are not an omniscient entity, in control of every single thing. Your routine is so old.

You are not a “WeHo Fan.” You are a “WeHo Gripe.”

Please look at your past comments.

Manny
Manny
3 months ago

I agree with everything Patrick said and thanks for saying it.

After hearing his very clear and concise public comment, I’m not sure there’s any political gaslighting that can defend the Anti-Public Safety Commission.

keep lowering that bar...
keep lowering that bar...
3 months ago

When Sepi jumped on the ACAB bandwagon during her campaign and ran on “re-imaging public safety” and “shifting funds from law enforcement”, I knew she was a disaster in the making, and yet now, between her efforts and the festering Horvath / Nika scandal, they’ve all managed to do the seemingly impossible and make Duran’s tenure seem like the good old days by comparison.

JF1
JF1
3 months ago

So very true.

Mindless Voters
Mindless Voters
3 months ago

Hard to know the composite of mindless folks that voted for Sepi Shyne who had no experience while pontificating about law enforcement or the other causes that victims fell for. CM Shyne frequently points out at council meetings that she is the only attorney on the council but her actions in no way resemble an ethical person devoted to the law and the well being of her community. Personal advancement to the extent that she twists the value of ethical behavior glorifying herself as a “person of color” for obvious gains. Always promoting her friends and acquaintances Ms. Shyne has… Read more »

WehoFan
WehoFan
3 months ago

.

Last edited 3 months ago by WehoFan
:dpb
:dpb
3 months ago

The city council that refuses to acknowledge the rapid rise in violent crime in West Hollywood needs to be voted out and if needed due to trim lengths recalled. The council at this point is as much to blame for the crime increase as the thieves themselves.

WehoFan
WehoFan
3 months ago
Reply to  :dpb

Agreed.

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